Charlotte Russe

The rich cold cousin of Apple Charlotte: both use a smooth sweet pureée to fill a frame of crisp bread or cake. I cannot find out why this version is known as Russian: it may have been made for a distinguished Russian visitor to the court or the recipe may have come from Russia.


  • 12–18 sponge fingers
  • 2 oz. (60 g.) pistachios, almonds or walnuts
  • ½ oz. (15 g.) gelatine
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1 oz. (30 g.) sugar
  • 1 pint (6 dl.) double cream vanilla essence
  • 12 crystallized cherries
  • 12 small pieces of angelica


Line a straight-sided round dish with the sponge fingers (casino fingers are the best). Sprinkle chopped nuts thickly over the bottom. Melt the gelatine in 1 tablespoon water, add the remainder and stir over the heat until it is thoroughly dissolved. Remove from the heat and add sugar. Whip ¾ pint ( dl.) cream stiffly, flavour it with a few drops of vanilla essence and stir into the gelatine mixture. Stir until nearly set, then carefully pour into the biscuit-lined mould. Allow to set, then turn out. Decorate with ¼ pint ( dl.) of plain whipped cream and crystallized cherries and angelica.

A solid syllabub or fruit-flavoured cream may be used as a change from the vanilla; or any fruit pureée, to which gelatine is added and into which cream is stirred.